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Virginia and Clemson meet in the ACC Tournament semifinals tonight. Can the Tigers advance to the championship? Ben Rajavuori answers.
ANALYSIS

Virginia vs. Clemson Prediction: Can the Tigers Advance to the ACC Championship?

The ACC Tournament is heating up as we head into the semifinals on March 10th. One of the matchups is between Clemson and Virginia, which is a rematch of the second-to-last game of the regular season for both teams just over a week ago. Clemson is coming off an impressive win against N.C. State in the quarterfinals, where they dominated the game and won by a margin of 26 points. In contrast, Virginia had a harder time against North Carolina but managed to secure the win by nine points. The books think Virginia will take this meeting again, but will they?

Virginia vs. Clemson Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: Friday, March 10, 2023
  • Start Time: 9:30 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: ESPN2

Click here for Virginia vs Clemson odds

Virginia vs. Clemson Prediction

Clemson has a great defense that has proven to be a difficult matchup for their opponents. They lead the ACC in two-point defense, which is bad news for Virginia as they do not shoot a lot of threes. Just like how Clemson was a bad matchup for N.C. State, they are also a bad matchup for Virginia. This is because Virginia relies heavily on their defense to win games, and with Clemson's defense being almost equally as good, it will be a close game.

In the first and only meeting of the season between Clemson and Virginia just over a week ago, the Cavaliers managed to come out on top. The final score was 64-57, with Virginia winning by seven points. The game was close, but Virginia had 17 more free throw attempts in that game than Clemson.

Virginia is not known to go to the line as much as they did in that game, so it was a bit of a fluke. Every other aspect of the game was close, and Clemson shot below their season average from both inside the arc and behind it. With that being said, it's clear that Clemson has what it takes to beat Virginia if they can avoid fouling too much.

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Clemson's offense is more reliable than their defense, which could prove to be a challenge for Virginia. Clemson is ranked 5th in the ACC in scoring offense this season and puts up an average of 75.5 points per game. They shoot 47.2% from the field as a team, which is 40th in the country.

The Tigers connect on 8.3 three-point field goals per game while shooting 36.9% from beyond the arc on the year. They are also solid at the line this season, connecting on 79.3% of their attempts, which is fifth in the country. With Ben Vander Plas out for the season, Virginia does not have the size to stop Clemson underneath the basket. Clemson's PJ Hall and Hunter Tyson will likely have a big game, especially if they can avoid fouling too much.

Virginia's defense is their strongest asset, but they struggle on the offensive end. The Cavaliers come into this game putting up an average of 68.2 points a game this season, which is 273rd in the nation. Virginia grabs 33.3 rebounds per game while dishing out 11.3 assists a night.

They are second in the ACC in scoring defense, as they allow an average of 60.3 points per contest, and their defense ranks first overall in efficiency, with Clemson right behind them in second. In their last game against North Carolina, Jayden Gardner led the team with 17 points and 10 rebounds. The Cavaliers will need to step up their offense if they want to beat Clemson, especially since Clemson's offense is more reliable.

Clemson is looking like the pick against Virginia. Although Virginia has a strong defense, Clemson's offense is more reliable and should take advantage of Virginia's weaker offense. Clemson also has a great defense that leads the ACC in two-point defense, making it difficult for Virginia to score inside, especially without Vander Plas.

In the previous meeting between these two teams, Clemson shot below their season average and still managed to keep the game close. In a game that should look close to equal on defense, I like Clemson to have more success in the front court. I'm grabbing the points.

Virginia vs. Clemson Pick

Pick: Clemson +3 (-110) Bet $100 to collect $190 DraftKings has the best odds; click here to bet

Article Author

NCAABBoxing/MMAMLBNHL

Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.

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